Last update: 12:10 a.m.
Firefighters from Maplewood, Clayton, Ladue, the city of St. Louis and several other departments battled a multi-alarm fire at a dentist's office at 3004 Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood.
The fire was at in a commercial building at that address. At about 9:30 p.m., witnesses could see substantial amounts of smoke billowing from the building while firefighters sprayed water on the structure while temperatures hovered in the teens. At around 10 p.m., flames broke through the roof of the structure and the roof collapsed.
Dr. Wayne E. Fischer, the dentist who owns the practice, told Patch on the scene that he had practiced in that building for 39 years. In fact, he was the third dentist in 80 years to practice dentistry in that building, a house that was built in 1904, Fischer said.
"I feel like my whole life is gone," Fischer said. "I'm in shock."
The staff of the practice had left early today because of the snow. Fischer noted that he had a collection of sports memorabilia in the house, including an original scorecard from Stan Musial's last game, signed by everyone on the team.
"It rivaled Cooperstown," the location of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Fischer said.
Visibly drained by the experience of watching the fire, Fischer said he was relieved no one was hurt.
"I'm just concerned for my patients," he said, referring to medical records, computers and files that were in the office. The final part of the roof collapsed while Fischer was talking to Patch.
After that, at about 10:30 p.m., firefighters moved witnesses back further in fear that the house would collapse entirely.
There were no official reports of injuries in connection with the blaze, although there were unofficial reports that an ambulance was called for an injuried firefighter.
KMOV-TV reported on Twitter at about 9:30 p.m. that firefighters were "taking a defensive stance" against the fire. Firefighters from the Webster Groves and Rock Hill fire departments were also on the scene; there were reports as well that they were being aided by the Mid-County, Affton, Mehlville, Glendale, Clayton and University City fire departments.
Sgt. Cavanaugh with the told Patch he was patrolling the area around Sutton and Flora when he saw visible flames in the area. He called for back-up, but by the time anyone arrived, the building was completely ablaze.
The fire was initially reported at two alarms, but there are reports that it is now a four-alarm fire.
Around midnight, firefighters were lowering the ladders and rolling up the hoses. The house was still standing, but without a roof, and every window frame was blackened.